Friday, April 14, 2017

Charleston, SC | Magnolia Plantation & Gardens






















March 13-15, 2017


Given my penchant for visiting gardens while traveling (see also Tryon Palace, Duke Gardens, and Schwetzingen), I thought it only right to include Magnolia Plantation & Gardens in my travel roundups. The gardens have been consistently rated some of the best in the country and are the oldest public gardens in America. My mom and I opted to do the self-guided walking tour of the grounds, so we didn't get the chance to see the swamp gardens or any of the other grounds that were an additional fee, but the general admission areas provided more than enough to do.

The gardens are loosely split into regions with different flowers in each. Aside from a few side plots, I was surprised at how unmanicured the gardens were; instead of being in tightly regulated shapes like the gardens at Tryon Palace, the plants at Magnolia are allowed to grow freely with minimal interference from humans, which makes it feel almost like walking through wildlife.

The gardens were gorgeous, but my favourite part was the animal enclosure. All the animals inside are rescues and cannot be returned to the wild, and they make for an entertaining bunch. The enclosure houses deer, goats, turkeys, peacocks, ponies, chickens, and pigs, all of whom are friendly towards humans. The side of the fence had a box of snacks with which you could feed the animals, and I grabbed a handful of cheerios and dried corn and attempted to share. A goat ambled over and ate all the cheerios before promptly leaving. When I approached one of the deer, she took one look at my hand, decided she didn't like her options, and swiftly bit the palm of my hand and licked the leg of my jeans three times in rapid succession. It happened so quickly that all I could do was stand there and laugh; I wasn't sure what had happened until it was over. My mom caught the deer in action - if you zoom into the photo above you can see her tongue on my jeans. Overall, the gardens are a beautiful and potentially amusing way to spend an afternoon.


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